With Hanukkah here you have every excuse to embrace one of the best winter comfort foods there is: the potato latke. This is a flavorful twist on the traditional that is so easy to make. Turnips add a delicious bit of crunchiness and flavor. This recipe makes a manageable sized batch so you are not standing over the stove too long. But if you are having guests (or you’re really hungry) its easily doubled, or tripled.
1 lb peeled russet potatoes
½ lb white turnips
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
Grate the potatoes and turnips in a food processor. A box grater will work as well but a food processor is easier if you have one. Wrap them in a clean towel and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible. Transfer to a bowl and toss with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Form potato mixture into tightly packed patties, place in skillet and flatten with a spatula. They should be less than an inch thick. Keeping an eye on how quickly they brown, cook about 10 minutes per side only flipping once. Transfer to a tray with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm with sour cream or applesauce.
I got these beautiful purple potatoes from my winter CSA share and really wanted to share them with someone-why not you? They look so nice next to lentils, which are not known for their good looks. Or taste for that matter. I think of lentils as one of the more blah foods out there even though they’re healthy and full of good stuff for you and all that, I still need to disguise them with other ingredients to reap their benefits. You can buy lentils in a can, which eliminates the overnight soaking or whatever those people who write recipes and don’t have babies will tell you to do (look for them with the Goya canned goods if you have a hard time finding them in your store).
This is a fantastic example of a make-in-stages recipe. The dressing can be made hours ahead of time. Potatoes can be boiled and left to cool at any point. After that, it’s just throwing things together in a serving bowl. Keeps for 3 days refrigerated in an air-tight container.
1 lb potatoes, peeled
1 15 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
2 large shallots finely diced,
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed if salted, drained if brined, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, relish and scallions.
In a large pot cover the potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until potatoes a re soft when poked with a sharp knife. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Assemble salad: Place potatoes in a serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon of parsley and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley and serve.
Not only can this meal be comforting and satisfying it can be cooked in one hour. Bonus: it yields not one but three potential leftover dishes.
I can’t believe I pulled it off. A meat and potatoes dinner made in one hour with three food groups and no recipe. I covered the meat group, the starch group and the vegetable group and here is how I did it.
The salt brings out the moisture in the chicken and makes the skin nice and crispy. This is why you do not baste until the roasting is almost complete, you need the salt to do its job. The basting will rinse off the super-saltiness towards the end of the process. With nothing in the cavern of the chicken it will roast quickly and thoroughly at a high heat.
Do ahead: the potatoes and squash can be peeled and chopped at any time earlier in the day.
Roasted Chicken with potatoes and squash
Whole chicken about 4 lbs, more or less
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 med onion chopped
1 tbsp dried sage
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 450
Rinse the chicken and remove any neck and giblets. Generously salt inside the cavern and outside of the chicken on both sides. Place on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Fill the pan with a ½ inch of water. Roast for an hour basting only once, 45 minutes after the bird has been in the oven.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut roughly into 1” chunks. Peel the squash and cut into 1” chunks. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil, onions, salt and pepper. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saute pan. Add the sage and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant. Pour over potatoes and squash. Add thyme and toss well. Transfer to a small roasting pan and add to the oven where the chicken has been roasting. Roast for 30 minutes or until the potatoes feel soft when pierced with a fork. Stir once halfway through roasting.
After an hour, remove the chicken from the oven and test the done-ness by cutting onto the breast.
Sometime last spring I planted a packet of seeds to grow some rainbow carrots. Most of the seeds sprouted, I got them into the ground in my meager little raised bed and then I kind of ignored them for months. Their greens grew bigger and bigger, my husband implored me to harvest them. I told him it could wait until fall. Finally one day I noticed the top of a big purple carrot poking out of the ground. I got my trowel and dug. Wow! Such beautiful colors. So many carrots. So. Many. Carrots. So many freaky, twisted, mutant looking carrots. So hard to peel. It seems only right that they are paired with another freaky, mutant-looking plant called ginger. Before all the carrots went limp sitting in my produce bin, I put together this lovely carrot ginger soup.
If you are a soup maker, I highly recommend getting a stick blender if you don’t already have one. Its about a million times easier to puree your soups with one. If you put hot soup in a blender to puree, the heat will create a volcano effect. You’ll open up the blender and your nice batch of pureed soup will explode all over your counters, your ceiling and best of all-on you!
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Heat 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If you have a stick blender, use it to puree the soup in the pan. If you don’t have a stick blender, let the mixture cool then, in batches, carefully puree in a blender. Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency. Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice.
With a holiday weekend coming up I though I’d get a jump on summer foods. No barbeque or picnic is complete without a potato salad and this one is a real winner. The relish gives it a nice crunch while providing just the right amount of tang. What else can I say about potato salad? It’s a staple of warm weather eating and it makes me happy.
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine
2 tbsp minced red onion
3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
½ cup mayonnaise
¾ tsp powdered mustard
¾ tsp celery seed
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 large hard cooked eggs peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes (optional)
In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring once until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Add vinegar using a rubber spatula to toss gently. Let stand 20 minutes
In a small bowl, stir together celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonnaise, powdered mustard, celery seed, parsley, pepper and ½ tsp salt. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in dressing (and eggs) into potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour before serving. Can be refrigerated up to one day.
This recipe came directly from Cooks Illustrated summer 2013
Even though spring is just around the corner, it can still feel like winter on some days. As long as we are talking about winter comfort food, lets talk potatoes. Mashed potatoes are so simple yet filling and comforting. This is a basic recipe-you can add a ½ cup of sour cream into the mash and top with chives or parsley to make it a little richer. I’ve even known people who add a little blue cheese to make it totally decadent.
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ stick butter
½ cup milk heated
salt & pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan.
Transfer to a large bowl or an electric mixer bowl and mash. Add butter and milk and beat until smooth.
Re-heating tip: when heating up the leftover mashed potatoes the next day, add a little milk (2-3 tbsp) and mix it in to avoid dry potatoes.
Around the time I realized that I had to give up dairy, I heard a radio interview with Isa Chandra Moskowitz promoting her cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance. The interview went on to discuss how vegan food get a bad rap for being bland or having mysterious ingredients (what IS seitan, anyway?) She offered up tasty dishes that did not contain any animal products yet did not scream “vegan!” I bought it immediately.
Some of her recipes were too involved for my limited ability-limited by the baby on the boob mind you, not my cooking abilities. But many of her recipes have made it into my regular rotation of meals in my house. If you look in my freezer today, you might just find some Chipotle, Corn and Black Bean Stew.
If you must avoid spicy things I would definitely leave out the chipotle peppers. In fact, anyone handling a baby should avoid touching them. If you touch the inside of the pepper with your bare hand it will burn. Accidentally touch the baby with that hand and everyone is unhappy for hours.
Chipotle, Corn and Black Bean Stew
from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly slice
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ground cumin
½ tablespoon salt
a few dashes of black pepper
2 chipotle peppers (canned), drained and chopped
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
4 russett potatoes cut into ¾ inch dice
2 carrots, peeled, cut into ¾ inch dice
1 cup corn
1 (16oz) can black beans
1 cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed torn into pieces stems and all
finely grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
In a stockpot saute the onions in the low over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper. Saute 1 minute more. Add the chipotles, tomatoes and water, stir. Add the potatoes and carrots, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Uncover, add the corn and beans. Thin with more water if needed. Cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Add the cilantro, lime zest and lime juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Serve. (If you can wait an hour to eat it, it tastes so good when its had a chance to sit around and is gently reheated).